The first limit hold’em tournament of the 2010 World Series of Poker was the first chance for holdem players to compete without the no-limit aspect. Limit holdem appeals to a wide variety of players, as many players get their poker starts amidst the comforts of LHE. While its popularity doesn’t compare to that of no-limit, the game still has its followers.
The event began on June 4 as a late 5:00pm start with 625 players and a $843,750 prize pool. It was a slightly smaller field than the previous year, which had 643 players, but the drop didn’t seem significant. Out of the 2010 prize pool, the top 63 finishers were set to be paid, with the winner taking home $189,870.
Day 1 took the field down to 198 players, and Day 2 thinned it even further. The money bubble burst when Jonathan Tamayo was busted in 64th place by Shawn Buchanan, and the last 63 players were guaranteed payment. When the allotted levels were completed on the second day of play, only 13 bags contained players’ chips, and they were listed as follows:
|Jason Potter ||371,000 |
|Jameson Painter ||307,000|
|Georgios Kapalas ||306,000 |
|Ahmad Abghari ||302,000 |
|Terrence Chan || 288,000 |
|Matt Matros ||272,000 |
|Kirk Banks ||264,000 |
|Adrian Dresel-Velasquez ||240,000 |
|Frank Kassela ||162,000 |
|Roberto Truijers ||141,000 |
|Tran Dean ||82,000 |
|Mark Burford ||53,000 |
|Ben Lamb ||31,000 |
It didn’t take long for Potter to lose his previous day’s momentum, while Kassela and Burford doubled up early. But some players failed at their attempts to double:
|13th place: ||Dean Tran ($8,766) |
|12th place: ||Kirk Banks ($11,027) |
|11th place: ||Ben Lamb ($11,027) |
The last ten players were seated together at one table, but one player still needed to be eliminated before it was the official final table. It was finally Kassela who tried to move again, this time with on a board. But Chan called with and top pair, which stayed the best hand through the river. Frank Kassela left in tenth place with $11,027.
With the final table set, the players started official play with the following chip counts:
|Seat 1: ||Terrence Chan ||839,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Mark Burford ||173,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Georgios Kapalas ||278,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Matthew Matros ||117,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Adrian Dresel-Velasquez ||375,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Jameson Painter ||303,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Jason Potter || 97,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Ahmad Abghari ||360,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Roberto Truijers ||275,000 |
Burford was in trouble with a very short stack but was able to triple up to stay alive. But soon after, he moved again, this time with a solid . Kapalas tangled with , but the flop gave Kapalas that straight draw. The on the turn didn’t change anything, but the did, as it made that wheel for Kapalas. Mark Burford was ousted in ninth place with $14,149.
Truijers took some serious hits to his stack, as Potter doubled through and Abghari did the same. Truijers doubled back through Chan before the dinner break, but his stack was still in deep trouble. Upon the return from dinner, Truijers pushed all-in from the big blind, and Painter and Abghari called to see the flop of . They checked to the on the turn and the on the river, and checked again. Truijers showed , but when Abghari turned over for two pair, Painter mucked, and Roberto Truijers left in eighth place, which was worth a payout of $18,385.
Painter then got involved with Matros to see a flop of . Painter was all-in at that point with , and Matros called with for the pair of eights. The on the turn and the finished the hand quietly, and Jameson Painter said his goodbyes before going to claim his $24,198 for the seventh place finish.
Six-handed play began with Chan in the lead with Matros not far behind. Several players were on fairly short stacks.
One of them was Potter, who finally pushed all-in with . Kapalas called with , and the board of allowed that pair to hold up. Jason Potter exited in sixth place with $32,281.
Dresel-Velasquez had been chipped down to 40K and shoved it all-in but received three callers. Abghari, Kapalas, and Matros checked through the board of , and all of the hands were turned up. Abghari had for the pair of queens, Kapalas and Matros both lost with ace high, and Dresel-Velasquez had , which lost to the river card. Adrian Dresel-Velasquez was gone in fifth place with $43,647.
The remaining four players started with Kapalas in the chip lead, but he quickly lost ground and was eventually crippled by a hand with Matros. Kapalas then doubled through Matros to stay alive, but one hand later, Kapalas shoved all-in preflop with . Chan was the only caller with , and the race ended quickly when the flop gave Chan the top pair. The turn card and river card ended the hand, and Georgios Kapalas left in fourth place with $59,838.
Three-handed action started with Matros at 1.5 million, Chan with 1.15 million, and Abghari down to 280K. But Abghari soon doubled through Matros to stay in the game. But Chan lost ground and became the short stack, while Matros climbed into a massive lead with 2.1 million.
Chan finally decided to get involved with Abghari to check out a flop that came . The bet of Chan led to a check-raise from Abghari, reraise from Chan, and call. The turn card prompted a bet from Abghari and raise all-in from Chan with for the flush and straight draws. Abghari called with and the two pair. The showed up on the river and made no hand for Terrence Chan, who finished the tournament in third place with $85,185.
Heads-up action began with the following chip counts:
|Matt Matros ||1,950,000 |
|Ahmad Abghari ||850,000 |
A sizable pot between the two that went to Abghari evened the stacks, and the latter continued to climb, eventually taking over the lead. The two ended up switching the chip lead back and forth several times, but Matros took the reins and never looked back.
Finally, the duo went to see a flop of . Abghari bet, Matros raised, and Abghari just called. After the on the turn, the same betting pattern resulted in Abghari calling all-in with . Matros showed for the two pair, and the on the river only improved that two pair. Ahmad Abghari was eliminated in second place with $117,272.
Matt Matros, long-time poker player, author, and poker coach, won Event 12, which was accompanied by $189,870 and his first ever WSOP gold bracelet for his limit hold’em victory.